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Traffic Signal Installation on Wilson Blvd in Bluemont

by ARLnow.com December 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm 2,946 28 Comments

A new set of traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals are being installed at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and N. Wakefield Street.

The traffic signals are located next to the Murphy Funeral Home and a new residential development, in the Bluemont neighborhood near Ballston. A developer agreed to pay for the traffic signals in 2008 as part of the development’s site plan process. At the time, county staff argued that increased traffic from the development would necessitate the installation of traffic signals.

No word yet on when the traffic lights might be switched on.

  • Fluffy

    I’m for stoplights, but this is barely one block from Glebe. Seems like there are better places for one on Wilson. Maybe a mile or so west, at the bottom of the hill, where the park is. A real stoplight to replace the sometimes-working speed-camera one.

    • CrystalMikey

      The one at the bottom of the hill is a pedestrian-controlled stoplight.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      I agree Fluffy, there should be a real light at either Wilson and Lexington or Wilson and Manchester. Back in the 70s, our neighborhood petitioned the County to have a stoplight installed at Wilson & Lexington and the Country turned us down. People come down both hills way too fast.

      • madisonmanor

        I come down those hills (both ways) a couple of times I week – you might notice me as I am the one doing 29mph when others are flying by at over 40. They trip the speed control trigger (there is also the ability for pedestrians to trigger it), yet THEY are able to fly past the light before it changes, leaving me as the one impacted. I don’t mind stopping (especially since it’s right next to the wonderful rose garden), but I wish there was some way they could force the offenders to actually have to slow down or stop too.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          I’ve had the same thing happen to me and I’ve noticed the same thing. I drive the speed limit, some Mario Andretti wannabe zooms by and triggers the annoying thing, they sail through it (even if it is red sometimes) and I have to wait for what in my opinion is a bogus light installed where it wasn’t really needed (IMO – the light should have been where our neighborhood had petitioned it, at Wilson and Lexington).

          I also wish there was a better way to get these Richard Petty wannabees getting in touch with their inner ridge runner to have to slow down/stop like those of us that drive the speed limit on that stretch. Every so often, the County will have cops stationed at the Dominion Hills pool parking lot to stop speeders, I’ve even seen (once) cops stationed right at the bottom of the hill at Wilson and N. Manchester by the Sunrise facility – and I’ve seen them stop speeders. But the cops aren’t posted at those places too often.

          • JamesE

            I go slow down that hill because if I go fast the front of my car will actually bottom out on the curve.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            I’ve heard quite a few cars bottom out at the bottom of that hill, one of them actually made a bunch of sparks.

  • Dorothy

    Or how about one on Carlin Springs and N. Park Drive/Vermont Street?

  • ArlingtonAaron

    Also a set going up by the Gold’s Gym in Ballston. Both sets seem pretty sensible considering the number of close-calls with pedestrians along those sections of road.

    • Louise

      But that gym isn’t even one whole block from the traffic light at Henderson/Quincy and Wilson, is it?

    • ILoveArlington

      I agree it REALLY bad!!!

  • charlie

    criteria for directional lights:
    1. will a developer pay for it?
    2. citizen whining.
    3. need

    • Suburban Not Urban

      +1 😉

  • Mickey

    One is going up at Wilson and Pollard…..not needed. Now it will take me 10 minutes to go a mile! You just can’t make this stuff up! I swear the County people just sit around and think of more ways to spend money and control the population…meanwhile our roads are like in a third world country. I reported those potholes at the intersection of Wilson and Fairfax over 2 months ago….still there! What a joke!!

    • Yep

      I can’t stand the lights on Fairfax Drive, they time them in such a way to decrease speeding [at least that’s my opinion], but it takes forever to go down that stretch of road. The cross streets that usually have limited traffic – except at Glebe and Quincy – turn green for an eternity, causing Fairfax Drive traffic to be like a game of Frogger, stop…… go… stop………. go….. stop…… F you Arlington.

      • CrystalMikey

        I hear you on Fairfax Drive. I cut over to Lee Hwy to get on 66W instead of using that stoplight mess.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        They’re not trying to decrease speeding- they are trying to get you to dump your car. If they were targetting speeding they would do what DC does on constitution – timing the lights so going the speed limit lets you get the bleep out of dodge, instead the county sets it up so you only get stop and go costing you gas, brakes and time.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Fairfax Drive is often an exercise in futility and I try to avoid it, even if I have to go out of my way.

        • cyclist

          It’s great on a bike.

  • zzzzz

    I work on this block of Wakefield. With the additional traffic from two new office buildings, a larger apartment building and new townhouses, this light will be needed. It’s very hard to see traffic approaching on Wilson when you’re traveling in either direction on Wakefield St.

    • Resident Cynic

      But wait! I thought all those new apartment dwellers and office workers were going to use the Metro! You might you people are actually driving? Gasp!

      • John K.

        Sounds like we need more money spent on promoting the Car-Free Diet.

      • drax

        But wait! You thought someone argued that every single apartment dweller would use Metro all the time, and not one would ever drive, ever?

  • Baja

    In addition to pedestrian safety, this light is needed because of high traffic speeds, poor visibility, and increasing numbers of left turners. It’s already difficult for left turners the Wilson intersection with Wakefield and Vermont; the two new office buildings w/ retail, new apt. building, and 30+ additional townhomes further heighten the need for the light.

    The County should absolutely prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety and mobility over sustained high vehicle speeds in high density areas…that’s the whole point of transit oriented development. Much of Wilson is damn dangerous for pedestrians and bikers; once you get about a block West of Glebe, about the only place that isn’t a death trap (super narrow, poorly maintained, often obstructed sidewalks right up against the curb with steep curb cuts) is the two block stretch from George Mason to Frederick. I’d take improved, ADA-compliant sidewalks on Wilson…particularly from George Mason to Woodrow…before another traffic light any day!

    • Bluemontsince1961


      The sidewalks along Wilson have been a concern of many residents in the Bluemont area and I believe the civic association may bring those concerns to the County:


    • JamesE

      high speeds? You cannot go over 20 mph on that stretch of Wilson without destroying your suspension.

    • John K.

      I know things have changed since I used to live near Wakefield and Glebe, but I never had problems with my safety as a pedestrian from there to Bon Air in those seven years. Never. Even with that old slip lane on Eastbound Wilson… I disagree with the need for “pedestrian safety measures”. No, a family of six can’t saunter down the lane for a Sunday stroll, but this isn’t a nice suburban cul-de-sac. Now bicycling on the other hand…

      • Baja

        I guess that’s where we differ. I don’t enjoy traffic 6″ from my elbow, and that’s walking solo, never mind meeting someone heading the other direction. I’m sure managing a stroller is incredibly tricky and a wheelchair is undoubtedly impossible. If you slip on one of the fairly steep curt cuts while it’s icy, you will almost surely slide into the street. As you mentioned, biking is also not for the faint of heart.


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